Mattis on Military Action Against Syria: This Was a 'Heavy Strike'

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Safety Secretary Jim Mattis says navy strikes in Syria are "directed on the Syrian regime" they often have "gone to good lengths to stay away from civilians and worldwide casualties".

Earlier today, President Trump directed the USA military to conduct operations, in consonance with our allies, to destroy the Syrian regime's chemical weapons research, development and production capabilities.

"I am confident the Syrian regime conducted a chemical attack on innocent people", Mattis said.

The Cabinet agreed "on the need to take action to alleviate humanitarian distress and to deter the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime", and that Prime Minister Theresa May "should continue to work with allies in the United States and France to coordinate an global response", the statement said.

Mattis briefed reporters at the Pentagon Friday an hour after President Donald Trump announced the strike.

Last year, the United States only waged strikes on Syria after determining that more deadly sarin gas was used and some US media had reported that Washington was confident Assad had also used sarin on April 7.

Syria's capital has been rocked by loud explosions that lit up the sky with heavy smoke as U.S. President Donald Trump launched airstrikes in retaliation for the nation's alleged use of chemical weapons. A huge fire could be seen from a distance to the east. An AP reporter in Damascus says the attacks turned the sky orange.

The first target was a military scientific research center in the greater Damascus area - used for research, development, production and testing of chemical and biological weapons, he said. Syrian television reported that air defenses responded to the attack. After the attack ceased and the early morning skies went dark once more, vehicles with loudspeakers roamed the streets of Damascus blaring nationalist songs. French President Emmanuel Macron promised to consult parliament, though apparently not until after he attack.

He also condemned the recent chemical attack by the Syrian state in the suburb of Douma. President Bashar Assad's authorities denies responsibility.

Syria and Russian Federation have both denied the accusations, and the global chemical weapons watchdog said its team would begin its investigation on Saturday. Trump's ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, told NBC News on Thursday the administration has "enough proof" of the chemical attack but was still considering its response. He did, however, say Syrian surface-to-air missiles were deployed against the attack, and did not believe Russian Federation responded at all.

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Mattis acknowledged that the United States waged the attacks only with conclusive evidence that chlorine gas was used in the April 7 attack in Syria.

Trump says that closing Saturday, Syrian President Bashar Assad deployed chemical weapons in what was a "necessary escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very disgusting regime".

But he repeatedly emphasized that the use of chemical weapons in last weekend's attack that killed at least 42 people could not go unanswered. But the damage was limited, and a defiant Assad returned to episodic use of chlorine and perhaps other chemicals.

Dunford said to ensure the airspace was clear, the Pentagon used the normal deconfliction line prior to the strike. The last target was a chemical weapons storage facility and an important command post. He talked about the three nations have "marshaled their righteous vitality".

Friday's strikes appear to signal Trump's willingness to draw the United States more deeply into the Syrian conflict.

President Donald Trump is warning Russian Federation and Iran about their affiliation with Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad's authorities, as he broadcasts the launch of retaliatory strikes after an apparent chemical weapons assault closing week.

Mr. Mattis said the missiles targeted several chemical weapons sites.

At the House hearing, Democrat representative Tulsi Gabbard disputed Trump's legal authority to act without congressional authority and suggested a USA strike would lead to war with Russian Federation.

Following the strike, reports of a retaliatory actions emerged.

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